In little more than half a decade, conductor Valery Ryvkin has proven himself an Artistic Director on the move, aligning the creative talents of artistic planning, and superb music-making alongside an extraordinary insight into administration, fundraising, and incorporation of an arts institution into the fabric of the community. In other words, Ryvkin has become the Maestro for the next generation! As Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara from 1999 until 2008, Maestro Ryvkin moved the company from a classy 'mom and pop' effort to a respected and highly cultivated institution with a budget of $1,200.000 - while also bringing to the company the concept of a Festival Season: a Puccini Festival in 2006 and a Verdi Festival in 2007. His organizational impact was equally felt as the new Artistic Director of the Greensboro Opera, when, during his first season in 2005-06, he was personally instrumental in bringing the company it's very first $1,000,000 donation - a hallmark in the company's 25 year history. Given today's financial environment, an achievement of envious proportions! As a result of his creative leadership, Opera Santa Barbara recently was able to make the extraordinary announcement that composer Stephen Schwartz of Broadway fame - Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Pochahontas, Prince of Egypt - has been commissioned to write his very first opera, Séance, for the company, to be conducted by Maestro Ryvkin in a world premiere in the Fall 2009.


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